Igor Nikolaev, an economist, claims that Russia had lost 1-2 trillion roubles (10-20 billion British pounds) over the New Year holidays. “The country hasn’t worked in over 10 days”, he says, and “undoubtedly, the fact that the country can allow itself to not work for 11 days is not normal”. He proposes that the long holidays should be cancelled, although states that on the background of an economic crisis it would not be a good idea.
The economist evidences his claim by stating that the industrial sector outputs 10-15% less in January than in December.
However, a financial analytic, Vitaliy Kalugin, opposes the view. His calculations show that Russia only loses around 100 billion roubles over the winter holidays. “The spine of the economy consists of the continuous industries – oil, metals, retail and more. Whilst these branches are working, others can rest.” He added, that small and medium businesses continue to work during the holidays.
The Gosduma has already seen these questions. Gennadiy Onishenko, an MP, earlier argued that the winter holidays should be cancelled, whilst Sergey Kalashnikov, a member of the economic policy committee of the Gosduma, thought that they should be shortened by 3 days.
Image credit: Anna Tis